Australian Baha'i Sites

‘Reminded of our purpose’: Baha’i delegates prepare for task of electing national governing body 

Delegates from more than 50 localities across Australia have gathered at Sydney’s Baha’i House of Worship in the lead up to this weekend’s National Baha’i Convention to spiritually prepare themselves for the sacred task of electing the governing body for the Australian Baha’i community – the National Spiritual Assembly. 

The spiritual preparation day provides a space for all delegates to partake in private prayer and reflection, connect with other delegates in the temple surrounds, and deepen themselves in the Writings of the Faith. 

The national convention will take place over three days, allowing the delegates to consult on community affairs, make recommendations and suggestions to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Australia, and elect the members who will serve on the institution for the upcoming year. 

One delegate mentioned that the spiritual preparation day was “extremely important” for delegates, providing a vision for their role in the upcoming election. 

“You cannot just come straight here and go to convention. It’s so important that delegates get this concept of what they’re supposed to do – to elect the members of the National Spiritual Assembly, to help the new National Assembly with ideas … and to take back the spirit of convention to their (home communities). 

“Of course, being here in the wonderful grounds of the House of Worship is just so inspiring.” 

Another delegate said the spiritual preparation day provided an opportunity to connect with individuals from various parts of Australia and listen to different perspectives, while another emphasised the importance of being “reminded of our purpose here” and to meet with others in an uplifting setting. 

The Baha’i election process gives each delegate freedom to vote confidentially for those of his or her own choosing among all the adults of the national community. It is a democratic process that is sacred and dignified, free from nomination or campaigning. 

…the friends must whole-heartedly participate in the elections, in unity and amity, turning their hearts to God, detached from all things but Him, seeking His guidance and supplicating His aid and bounty. 

Shoghi Effendi

The national convention will also provide an opportunity for delegates and the broader community to celebrate the achievements of the past year. In its annual report, the National Spiritual Assembly showcased highlights from the year gone, emphasising the flourishing of individuals that have been seen to be creatively applying the teachings of Baha’u’llah through words and deeds, working alongside “other well-wishers of humanity in neighbourhoods, professional and social networks and especially in more than 2000 groups of families in urban and regional centres across our vast country”.  

But nothing brings greater joy or more promise for the future than witnessing the Australian Baha’í community advancing as a learning community, marked by increasingly conscious and systematic pursuit of learning processes and strengthened systems for sharing insights gained across the country.

National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Australia, Annual Report, 180 B.E.

The Baha’i world is now two years into the Nine Year Plan – signalling the mid-point of the Plan’s first phase that will end at Ridvan in 2026. The second phase will last from 2026 to 2031. 

The National Spiritual Assembly says while “we pause to celebrate the progress made, we remain mindful of the considerable work yet to be done and of the prevailing conditions in our country, where the forces that would polarise us, distract our focus and sap our energy are gaining in strength.” 

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Horizons Team

The Horizons Team aims to cast a spotlight on how the Baha’i Faith’s society-building power is being released in ever-greater measures across this vast and diverse country of ours.

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Published in April, 2024, in Baha'i Institutions > Events

Available online at: horizons.bahai.org.au/bahai-institutions/reminded-of-our-purpose-bahai-delegates-prepare-for-task-of-electing-national-governing-body/

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